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City of license Encinitas, California
Broadcast area San Diego County
Branding 102.1 KPRI
Slogan "San Diego's Homegrown."
Frequency 102.1 MHz
First air date January 20, 1962 (as KUDE-FM)
April 1, 1996 as KXST with the Triple-A format
Format AAA
ERP 30,000 watts
HAAT 192.7 meters
Class B
Facility ID 51503
Former callsigns KUDE-FM (1962-1977)
KJFM (1977-1984)
KEZL (1984-1986)
KGMG (1/1986-10/1986)
KGMG-FM (1986-1991)
KIOZ (1991-1996)
KXST (1996-2002)
Owner Compass Radio Group
Webcast Listen Live

KPRI (also 102.1 KPRI) is an Adult Album Alternative radio station in San Diego, California, that plays a variety of pop, rock music, blues, reggae, and folk. The station's studios are in the Sorrento Valley district in north San Diego.

KPRI-FM is the only independently owned and operated commercial station in the San Diego market, and is owned by the Compass Radio Group, Inc. The station was formed on April 1, 1996 by two partners, Robert "Bob" Hughes and Jonathan Schwartz. Both had backgrounds in the corporate side of radio and had always hoped to create a station that was commercially viable while at the same time critically successful.

102.1 was licensed by the Federal Communications Commission with antenna and tower in San Marcos, California. The station was licensed as KXST to Oceanside, California and is now licensed to Encinitas, California. KPRI's transmission emitted a city-grade signal that covered most of San Diego County, but due to the topography of the county, there were certain areas the station served better than others. San Diego's affluent North County Coastal areas received the signal without interruption, while areas in main San Diego such as Pacific Beach or La Jolla had degraded "in home" reception due to interference caused by Mount Soledad. Previous ownership had set up repeaters (low-power transmitters) scattered across San Diego to improve transmission of the radio station, but because those created as many problems as they solved, KPRI stopped using some of them in 1997.

On February 13, 2008, KPRI moved it transmitter to Mount Soledad to improve its signal and to increase its audience.

Despite the station's call sign, KPRI has no affiliation with Public Radio International, which is also known by its initials, PRI.

The original station[edit]

When it first went on the air in the 1950s at 106.5 FM, the station billed itself as "KPRI: Capri-by-the Sea," a middle-of the-road and jazz station with studios on 5th Avenue in San Diego. This early version of KPRI featured popular DJ's like Rod Page and George Manning.

KPRI continued with its MOR format, supplemented by a progressive rock show hosted by pioneering underground disc jockey Steve Brown (under the name "OB Jetty"). Finally, in May 1968, KPRI switched full-time to Progressive Rock. The lineup included Gabriel Wisdom, Fred Nurk, Dana Jones, and Joe Chandler. Peter Franklin (with British accent) was an early program director. Later additions to the air staff included Jerry Lubin, Adrian Bolt, The Kapusta Kid, and Barrance Q Zakar. Larry Himmel was a DJ there at that time. Jim Lanter (air name "Jim LaFawn") was the Program Director from 1971 to 1973. He later went to KLOS in L.A and died some time ago. In the early 1970s, Gerry Gazlay was the station's News Director. Larry Shushan owned the station until 1971, when it was sold to Southwestern Broadcasting.

This era is portrayed in the motion picture Almost Famous, with Cameron Crowe's visit to KPRI's studios at the corner of 7th and Ash in downtown San Diego.

In 1973 KPRI hired Michael Harrison as PD. He installed a more mainstream AOR format which influenced many other stations around the country.

Gazlay left KPRI to work as a newscaster at competitor KGB & KGB-FM in 1973. Gabriel Wisdom, Larry Himmel and Barrance Q Zakar also went to KGB.

KGB-FM and KPRI battled for rating supremacy for all of the 1970s and into the 1980s. Eventually, KPRI could not compete with the ratings success of KGB-FM.

On January 9, 1984, KPRI changed its call letters and format. The last song that the station played on its last evening as KPRI was "The End," by The Doors. 106.5 FM has been through several identity changes since and is now KLNV.

According to David Tanny, operator of San Diego Radio News: "The KPRI that is back is basically the station that used to be KCBQ-FM ten years ago on 105.3 until it shifted radio transmitter locations from San Diego to Oceanside's 102.1 in a complex deal swap. In 2002, 102.1 picked up the KPRI calls when that became available. It was KXST from 1996-2002 between those times".

While operating as KXST, the station called itself "Sets-102" and its programming featured sets of two or more songs by the same artist. That format was dropped with the switch to the KPRI call letters in 2002.

Current programming[edit]

  • The KPRI Morning Show with Chris Cantore
  • Jodina in the Midday
  • Sunday Morning Unplugged
  • Bryan Schock in the Afternoon
  • Evening with Robert
  • Homegrown Hour
  • E-Town
  • My Turn


  • Patrick Osburn - VP/General Sales Manager
  • Magi Aguilar - Promotions Director
  • Clark Newton - Local Sales Manager
  • Bob Jeffrey - Traffic Manager
  • Matt Stone - Program Director

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°50′24″N 117°14′56″W / 32.840°N 117.249°W / 32.840; -117.249